If asked to picture Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in your mind’s eye, odds are you will conjure up one of two images of the Austrian composer – both of which have Czech rather artistic roots, albeit centuries apart. If not the lead actor from Miloš Forman’s Oscar-winning film Amadeus, the image in your head is likely a posthumous portrait by Jihlava native Barbara Krafft.
World famous singer Placido Domingo takes to Prague’s Estates Theatre to conduct Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Don Giovanni. It’s the same theatre where Mozart himself conducted the premier of his work in 1787 with Domingo’s rendition coming on the 230th anniversary of the original. A second performance conducted by Domingo will take place on Sunday in the square outside the National Theatre and will be televised by public broadcaster Czech Television. Domingo came up with the idea of the two performances during a private visit to the Czech capital.
The world renowned opera singer Placido Domingo is to conduct two performances of Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni at the Estates Theatre in Prague in October to mark 230 years since Mozart himself conducted the premiere of this famous opera in the very same opera house. Domingo visited Prague this week to launch preparations for the cultural event of the year.
A long-lost collaboration between Mozart and rival composer Salieri has been performed in Prague. The 1785 piece entitled Per la ricuperata salute di Ophelia, which has also been credited to a third collaborator named Cornetti, was discovered at the Czech National Music Museum last year by German musicologist and composer Timo Jouko Herrmann. The score became part of the institution’s collection in the 1950s but was not correctly identified.
Prague’s Estates Theatre will pay homage to composed Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on Wednesday night on the 260th anniversary of his birth. A concert at the theatre will offer a range of music from the composer’s short by rich life. Guest star will be soprano Simona Houda Šaturova with the National Theatre Orchestra conducted by Rolf Beck. Several of Mozart’s works were premiered in Prague, including the first performance of the opera Don Giovanni at the Estates Theatre.
It is a key anecdote in Czech musical history: that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart felt better in Prague than anywhere else. That feeling was based - among other things, no doubt - on his outstanding success at the city’s Estates Theatre, which was the scene of that and other important moments in Czech cultural history. And it’s the focus of today’s Spotlight by Christian Falvey.